Cleats for Kids

Every parent understands how important it is for kids to stay active. But many Oklahoma children are forced onto the sidelines because their families can’t afford shoes and sports equipment. Cleats for Kids offers these kids a chance to get the physical activity they need.

Getting Children Back in the Game

Any team, organization, or family can request help from Cleats for Kids. There are no income requirements. “Our goal from the beginning was to remove barriers to access and make sports and being physically active available to all kids,” says Executive Director Stacy McDaniel.

Recipients select equipment, sports apparel, and shoes from the Cleats for Kids Locker Room. It’s set up like a store, abundantly stocked with used and new gear for students of all ages and sizes, and there’s no cash register and no bill to pay. All items are donated by the community.

Cleats for Kids enables children across the state to play organized sports, but they also meet more basic needs. The Ready to Run program supplies shoes to high school athletes and to elementary school students who need footwear for gym class and recess. Cleats for Kids also works with police departments to furnish shoes to kids who are removed from their homes.

Kids Helping Kids

Since its founding in 2011, Cleats for Kids has served almost 150,000 children and provided 200,000 sporting goods items. But it all started with one pile of used equipment in Mark and Stacy McDaniels’ garage. Hating to see outgrown items go to waste, the McDaniels began gifting them to athletes on their children’s sports teams.

Their first collection drive was at a birthday party for their youngest child, Meghan, who asked guests to bring shoes. Their stash of donated sporting goods soon filled the garage, then outgrew the sheds at their new home. The donations now fill the Cleats for Kids’ 2400-square foot Locker Room.

The McDaniels’ children, Cole, Josh, and Meghan, have been deeply involved from the beginning. Driven by the kids’ desire to participate, Cleats for Kids established Varsity and JV Youth Advisory Boards staffed by high school and middle school students across the metro area.

“It’s much more than just logging volunteer hours,” says Stacy. “This is a year-round commitment that gives young people a chance to serve the community hands-on and experience the blessings of giving back.”

The organization is headquartered in OKC but has deep connections with Edmond. Stacy is an Edmond Memorial graduate, and many adult and youth board members live in Edmond. Cleats for Kids was the recipient of the proceeds from the Liberty Sprint fun run at LibertyFest 2022. They have assisted students from all three Edmond high schools, all the middle schools, and most of the elementary schools.

How to Get Involved

Donors can drop off new or used sporting goods at collection bins across Edmond and the metro area. Monetary gifts are also welcome. “Many of the families who receive equipment also become donors themselves, because they understand the impact their donations have,” says Stacy. Volunteers are always needed to work in the Locker Room, organize collection drives, and more.

“Staying active benefits kids in so many ways,” says Stacy. “It improves their academic performance and test scores, behavior, mental health, and social skills. Teachers and parents tell me every day what a difference it makes.” She encourages everyone to reach out and explore how they can help. “At Cleats for Kids we believe everyone has something to give,” she says.

To learn more or schedule a Locker Room appointment, visit

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